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ASEAN, US should 'look ahead' on comprehensive strategic partnership -- Thai PM

14/05/2022 08:42 PM

BANGKOK, May 14 (Bernama) -- ASEAN and United States should “look ahead” and move toward comprehensive strategic partnership to stably and sustainably develop peaceful, strong and resilient regions for the Next Normal, said Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan o-cha.

Prayuth proposed for ASEAN and US to enhance collective efforts to build ‘new landscape’ in three areas – which are security, economic and climate change – during the meeting between ASEAN leaders and US President Joe Biden in Washington on Friday (Saturday in Malaysia).

“The proposed areas of cooperation will lead ASEAN-US strategic partnership to a new chapter and prove the cruciality of ASEAN-US cooperation in promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the region,” he said.

On “security landscape conducive to sustainable recovery and growth”, Prayuth said it could be realised with strong regional architecture and the environment of trust.

Prayuth hoped that all the key players, including the US, a global powerhouse who has long been ASEAN’s friend and partner, would work together to find common and proper solutions to the ongoing vulnerabilities and complex challenges.

“ASEAN stands ready to take part in this endeavor, as an important regional platform, to link all the key players in order to create the peaceful geopolitical landscape,” he said.

Second, on “economic landscape that is driven by digital technology and strong supply chains”, Prayuth proposed that ASEAN and the US expedite discussion on the linkage between ASEAN Single Window and the US import-export system to facilitate cross-border movement of goods.

 In the long run, the prime minister is confident that ASEAN has the potential to become essential to the US supply chain, especially in Electric Vehicles (EVs) manufacturing, medical supplies and industry, and biotechnology.

“Since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the number of digital consumers in ASEAN has increased to 60 million which indicates that the region will soon become the world’s major digital market. 

“Focus should be made on promoting easy access to everyone and enhancing digital capacity of labours and entrepreneurs, particularly the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) and startups, to increase their digital competitiveness. The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasised the importance of strong supply chain connectivity,” he said.

Third, on “landscape for more powerful climate action”, Prayuth said Thailand views that the collective effort of every country is needed to promote economic growth in tandem with environment protection and human security enhancement.

“Thailand has expressed willingness, at the World Leaders Summit of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), to be more aggressive in addressing the climate change challenges in every way and every means possible, by aiming at reaching carbon neutrality in 2050, and Net Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions in or before 2065.

“Should ASEAN and the US agree to increase investment cooperation and technology transfer in low-carbon industry, green infrastructure, and clean energy, as well as sustainable financial support, ASEAN member countries, including Thailand, would be able to achieve the goals sooner,” he said.

As APEC’s Chair this year, Prayuth also expressed pleasure to welcome Biden on a visit to Thailand to attend the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in November this year.




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